Local Authority Approves 7 Percent Sewer-Use Rate Hike

The Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) has approved a rate increase for users of the two municipal sewer systems, hiking by 7 percent both the quarterly gallonage rate and also the general administrative fee.

The WSA held a two-minute public hearing on the rate increases before its regular August 14 meeting. There was no public comment.

At their regular meeting, WSA members approved the increases.

The increases affect both the central sewer system, which serves the borough and adjacent areas, and the Hawleyville sewer system located along Mt Pleasant Road, near the Bethel town line.

The “primary sewer rate” and also “general administrative fee” are increasing by 7 percent. Sewer users are billed quarterly based on the volume of wastewater disposal during the past quarter. The increase is retroactive to July 1.

The hike increases the rate per 1,000 gallons from $7.79 to $8.34. When considering that not all the water that comes out of sewer users’ water taps in sent into the sewer system, the town reduces the 1,000-gallon measurement to 900 gallons for billing calculation purposes.

A “typical” single-family household may use approximately 200 gallons of water daily. Across a quarterly period, that translates into approximately 18,200 gallons of water. When the 90-percent factor for sewer billing calculation purposes is included, the customer is billed based on a 16,380-gallon amount of wastewater.

The amount of wastewater discharged by a household varies widely.

In August 2013, the WSA approved a 9.4 percent hike in both the gallonage rate and also the general administrative fee.

The town’s central sewer system went into operation in 1997. The town built that system as an environmental protection measure, in view of the many groundwater contamination problems that had occurred there due to failing septic systems. Wastewater from that system is processed at the municipal sewage treatment plant on Commerce Road. 

The Hawleyville sewer system went into operation in 2001. The town constructed that system to stimulate economic development. Sewage from that system is discharged into the Danbury sewage treatment plant.

The town is in the panning stages of expanding the Hawleyville sewer system. That expansion is generally intended to stimulate commercial/industrial development at some large vacant land parcels in Hawleyville, near Hawleyville Road and Mt Pleasant Road.

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